: Thoughts? Opinions?
A very good essay. At first Matthew Allison discusses the issue if skateboarding should be in the Olympics from the view of skateboarding (I think we can imagine roller skating in a similar space). In those parts of his essay, i always kept thinking: "Skating is not the issue, the Olympics is!" To me, the Olympics in themselves are the biggest reason why I do not want to be part of it. Where have the original Olympic ideals gone? Today, I only see a big commercial event where money is the only thing that counts and the athletes are used to further this goal. They are selected at a young age and prepared and trained to participate in the Olympics. Where is their freedom? I think the best way to deal with stuff like the Olympics would be to just ignore it. Then it would go away. But I'm pretty sure that a substitute would soon emerge. The Romans had "bread and circuses" we have "beer and soccer". You probably can't escape it. I'd rather practice a little skating myself. I can understand the craving for recognition. But by whom? I'd rather be accepted by fellow roller skaters. I know that it would be futile to expect respect for my skating which isn't worth mentioning. But almost always I had a very warm welcome and acceptance by other roller skaters. I want to thank you all for this and don't kill me for not liking the Olympics. Matthew Allison explains very well in his his last paragraph what's important about skating:
My last reason that skateboarding should not be in the Olympics is probably the most abstract one, and has to do with the essence of the sport. In the recent documentary ‘The Man Who Souled the World’ about Steve Rocco and his impact on the sport a commentator, named Fletcher Dragge, near the end stated something worth thinking about. Basically that skateboarding got big and to a degree ruined because people have gotten involved in it to make money not because they love it. I think every skateboarder remembers the day he or she discovered it or when he or she became passionate about it. It was a very independent decision. Parents do not show up one day with a skateboard and planned lessons. A skater becomes a skateboarder by him or herself, and not by an outside influence. With the Olympics talent is spotted at a young age and then pushed on the athlete by parents and coaches. I hope I never live to hear about a five year old in China or Russia being taken away from his or her home to train to be an Olympic skateboard champion. This happens to gymnasts and with other Olympic sports. Skateboarding is such an individualistic sport, and part of personal discovery no one should be forced to do it. Let’s say ten nine year-olds start skating at the same time. By the time they reach thirteen, at least four of them will quit because lack of interest or ability. By age sixteen three or more will quit because of lack of interest or teenage pressures. For those three or less left that skate as adults do so because of a passion or love, not because of an obligation or an expectation. They skate regardless of sponsorship, money, or status. That may not be the case if skateboarding became on Olympic sport or have a value put on it.